Co Cork murder-suicide funerals to take place in coming days

The Hennessy brothers were known locally as ‘The Saints’ and locals described them as a quiet, hardworking family


Three brothers who died following a murder-suicide at a farm outside Mitchelstown in Co Cork will be laid to rest in private ceremonies this week.

The bodies of Willie Hennessy (66) and Paddy Hennessy (60) were found at the family home at Curraghgorm on the outskirts of Mitchelstown last Friday morning.

The body of their younger brother Johnny (59) was recovered from the nearby river Funshion (also known as Funcheon) a few hours later.

Postmortem examinations were conducted on the men at Cork University Hospital by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster. The results were not released for operational reasons.

However, it is understood that Willie and Paddy Hennessy died of injuries consistent with an assault with an axe. The men suffered shock and haemorrhage associated with trauma from head injuries. Johnny Hennessy died from drowning.

The bodies of the three men have been released back to family members. A local undertaker has confirmed that their funeral ceremonies will take place in the coming days.

“The funeral times are private. But I can say that the burials will take place in the next week.”

The funerals will take place in accordance with strict Covid-19 restrictions.

The men are predeceased by their brother Jer. They had a sister, Breda, who is the only surviving member of her immediate family.

The body of Paddy Hennessy was found in the yard of the family farm and the body of Willie was discovered in a nearby shed.

The alarm was raised on Thursday evening when Paddy Hennessy’s daughter Elaine became anxious when he did not return to Linden Hill in Mitchelstown following a visit to the family farm in Curraghgorm.

Elaine and her mother Stephanie, Paddy Hennessy’s ex-wife, went to the farm where they found his body. He had sustained severe head injuries in an assault.

Gardaí carried out a search of the property where the brothers grew up and found the body of Willie Hennessy. An axe was found near his body.

Gardaí noted that Johnny Hennessy was not at the property and his van was missing from the yard. His van was subsequently found abandoned locally and his body was recovered from the river Funshion on Friday morning. Gardaí are not looking for anyone else in relation to the deaths.

The three brothers were former members of Ballygiblin GAA club and played hurling for club teams in their youth.

Ballygiblin GAA said the club was “shocked and saddened” to learn of the “tragic passing” of the brothers. They extended their “sincere condolences” to “friends and family alike”.

Johnny and Willie Hennessy were both single men. Willie lived alone at Stag Park in Mitchelstown whilst Johnny resided at the farm the brothers grew up in.

Paddy was a separated father of two who alternately lived with his daughter Elaine in Mitchelstown and his partner Kitty Russell in Tipperary town.

No one has as yet been able to give gardaí information as to what may have triggered the incident.

Gardaí believe that Johnny drove to the River Funshion near Killacluig at about 10pm on Thursday and ended his life by suicide.

Tragedy has previously touched the lives of the Hennessy family. Nine years ago Paddy lost his 21-year-old son Paudie to suicide. Two years later the brothers lost their 57-year0old brother Jer to suicide.

The brothers were known locally as “The Saints.” Locals described them as a quiet, hardworking family.

Gardaí are continuing to appeal to any persons who may have information in relation to the incident to come forward. Gardaí at Mitchelstown can be contacted on 025 84833, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

If you are affected by any issue in this article, please contact Pieta House on 1800 247247 or the Samaritans by phoning 116123 (Free), or emailing